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Birmingham Mayor Backs Refunds For Jim Crow Fines

Birmingham, AL – The mayor of Birmingham now wants the city to give refunds to people who paid fines for violating segregation laws decades ago.

Mayor Larry Langford proposed the refunds during a news conference on Wednesday, a day after he backed blanket pardons for people who were arrested and convicted on charges related to civil rights protests.

Fines for violations of the old Jim Crow laws typically ranged from $10 to $30, and Langford is proposing that anyone who paid such a penalty could apply for a refund. Claims would be researched before payments are made.

Officials say records show nearly 1,100 adults were arrested during civil rights demonstrations in the spring of 1963, and most were fined $105 or sentenced to jail time. It's unclear exactly how many people paid fines.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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